January 8, 2017

Legal Insurrection, your headline is embarrassingly misleading.

The headline is: "Young Americans for Freedom Labeled ‘Hate Group’ at UW Madison."

I thought maybe something new had happened here at my school, but it's just a link to a College Fix story about how a student group, The Student Coalition for Progress, is petitioning the UW to label Young Americans for Freedom a hate group.

I doubt if there's any chance that the UW will respond positively to this petition. It's ridiculously deceptive to make it look as though the UW had "labeled" YAF a hate group.

Yes, you've covered your ass with that "at" (instead of "by"), but few readers will resist jumping to the conclusion that the University took some action against the conservative group. Things happen at universities all the time. It's called freedom of speech. It's utterly dull and hardly worth mentioning that a group called The Student Coalition for Progress wants to stifle Young Americans for Freedom.

The College Fix story is new, but the petition is 3 weeks old. I blogged it here (on December 23rd.) Nothing new has happened. In fact, if you read past the first 5 paragraphs cut and pasted into Legal Insurrection — you'll have to get all the way to paragraph 17 over at College Fix — you'll see that a UW official is quoted saying:

"I do want to clarify that the petition itself does not represent the university position on the group or constitute a formal complaint against YAF."

Come on, Legal Insurrection! How many people are writing over there under a brand I associate with Cornell lawpro William A. Jacobson? The misleading article is by someone identified by first name only: Aleister. What's going on?

ADDED: And here's Roger Kimball, fooled by the headline and switching the preposition to "by":

Glenn Reynolds also passed along the Legal Insurrection headline, but fortunately a commenter over there caught the problem. The most up-voted comment, by willbilson, is:
Um... somebody started a petition. YAF was never 'labeled as a hate group' by UW Madison. I mean, come on. Don't publish misleading headlines. I get clickbait, I guess, but come on...
Kim Du Toit pushes back forcibly:
Feel free to take remedial reading lessons. The headline states that the YAF was labeled a hate group AT the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Not by.
Would Kim Du Toit like to speak that nastily to the estimable Roger Kimball? The headline invites misreading, and we all need to keep our bullshit detectors tuned up.

And I suspect that Glenn himself read the headline to mean "by" and not just "at," because he introduces it with "TAXPAYER-FUNDED MARGINALIZATION."

AND: There's some debate in the comments here about how much Aleister simply passed on bad text written by College Fix and how much he contributed. In the course of that debate, Meade points out that Aleister begins with his own words: "This would be the same UW Madison which is currently offering a program about the problem of whiteness."

Aleister says that as if the UW were favoring the left over the right. But there is no inconsistency. Allowing a professor to teach a race studies course that examines what he chooses to call the problem of whiteness demonstrates UW's commitment to academic freedom. That commitment is consistent with support for the free speech of YAF and the rejection the Student Coalition for Progress's request that YAF be punished for its speech.

And it should be noted that The Student Coalition for Progress is engaging in free speech when it calls YAF a "hate" group and when it petitions the authorities to do something about YAF. The Student Coalition for Progress has important free speech rights. But we should observe and criticize what is bad about the speech of The Student Coalition for Progress, and that is the idea that government authorities should suppress speech.

Students in the Coalition should think harder about free speech, throw off their repressive enthusiasm for government control, and switch to using substantive arguments about whatever it is they don't like about what YAF is saying.

I am trying to encourage them to do this. The left used to be very enthusiastic about free speech. That's something that was likable about the left. The Student Coalition for Progress may think the way to win support for their ideas is to suppress other ideas.

That's not going to work, and they shouldn't want it to work. I predict that as long as they keep trying to make that work, they will fail to win much serious support from other people, even if they succeed in eliciting some genuflection when they bullshit about "hate."

124 comments:

Big Mike said...

Is the headline wrong? Or merely premature?

Ann Althouse said...

"Is the headline wrong? Or merely premature?"

The headline isn't technically wrong, because of the "at." The student group is "at" the UW.

To the extent that the headline invites misreading, anyone who thinks the "at" means "by" is reading fake news.

A headline that says something happened when it might happen in the future is still fake news.

In any case, as I say in the post, there's very little chance that the UW would act on this petition and punish YAF for its speech.

I've been at the UW for 30+ years. I'm familiar with the tendencies around here, which include a lot of the kind of PC stuff you may loathe. But my bullshit detector immediately said: Did something new happen or is this just another story about the student petition?

Come on. Let's be smart.

Crazy Jane said...

I don't read that blog, but if it wanted to highlight wacky campus thinking it could have contacted the petition sponsors and asked them to explain their reasoning. Instead of yet another story about campus totalitarians, there would have been amusing quotes to share, plus a list of other organizations the group deemed beyond the pale. That I'd read. Maybe.

lgv said...

Since I already knew the story, I couldn't misinterpret it.

I wouldn't assume Glen misread it. Student organizations are directly or indirectly subsidized via fees and other provisions, e.g. use of speech.

I have no problem with people being very critical of Roger Kimball. His misquote is either intentional or sloppy. I find one more likely than the other. Either way, he loses points on credibility and reputation.

AllenS said...

The headline is only misleading, if you have no reading comprehension. There is a reason why the word "at" was created. Unlike the word "is".

tim maguire said...

Kim is being dishonest, LegalInsurrection is being at best careless. That headline is clearly intended to convey official sanction, not just another stupid petition.

Bob Ellison said...

This is a problem at most blogs that start with one author and later gather a stable of contributors. They can't all be William A. Jacobsons.

tim maguire said...

There's also too much emphasis on "at". Labelled means something as well. And the fact that it's being written about means the labelling isn't being done by the drunk at the corner of the bar.

Unknown said...

Pizzagate is real!

Laslo Spatula said...

I'll admit it: I originally fell for the misinterpretation when I first clicked to the article.

I couldn't believe what happened next...

I am Laslo.

campy said...

It's fake but accurate.

Unknown said...

Conservatives want to believe it, hence this comment:

"It's fake but accurate."

Gusty Winds said...

UW has fostered and promoted PC for so long that students for "progress" actually think it's ok to sign a petition labeling student for "freedom" a hate group. Who taught them such a thing was virtuous? Has anybody from the administration come out and said the petition signers are wrong?

I'll bet there are plenty of whack job profs and TA's who would be fine labeling Young Americans for Freedom a hate group. Liberal teachers, profs, and administrators have poisoned their own well.

The word at or by doesn't relieve UW responsibility for this stupidity.

David Begley said...

And Althouse is smart at four in the morning. Early bird. Worm.

Gusty Winds said...

Witch hunt petition are group think status symbols on campus, wrapped in arrogant intellectual virtue signaling.

See the Duke 88.

Lewis Wetzel said...

"Blogger Gusty Winds said...
UW has fostered and promoted PC for so long that students for "progress" actually think it's ok to sign a petition labeling student for "freedom" a hate group."
The Left has believed that freedom = hate for quite some time now.
Your religious freedom, freedom of speech, freedom to own firearms, etc., is stopping them from enjoying their government guaranteed rights.

rhhardin said...

Hate groups without hate, like doctors without borders.

Hate is the new racist, racist having worn out.

rhhardin said...

UW lost by not laughing them off the radar.

This want to be fair stuff is their problem. The preposition doesn't matter.

But it's all women.

Rae said...

The headline is misleading in a pernicious way - it feeds conservative assumptions about universities. We hate it when lefties do things like this, so we shouldn't do it.

rhhardin said...

The solution to offensive speech is zingers.

A petition just shows they have no idea about zingers.

rhhardin said...

Conservatives get their ideas about universities from the alumni magazine.

ndspinelli said...

Inside blogging petty horseshit, but it is SUNDAY.

traditionalguy said...

Or maybe it was caused by translation from the original in Cyrillic script. That's the first way you know the Russians are meddling with us again.

Bob Boyd said...

"we all need to keep our bullshit detectors tuned up."

There you have it.

PaoloP said...

Fair criticism, and absolutely timely: nobody wants another ideological agonist on the scene.
I hope your observation will be received, and hope that it brings fruit on both sides; in fact I guess the "The Student Coalition for Progress" people are confidently proud of their petition, and that there does not exist much (any?) criticism by the UW on their actions.
Am I wrong?

Jersey Fled said...

Call me whacky, but after I saw the headline I read the article.

No misunderstanding here.

One Eye said...

Sorry but not even close. Besides the aforementioned "at", it's clear to me that Universities don't "label" things, political groups do.

Curious George said...

You can make the case that the headline is misleading, but it requires ignoring the words used...words do have meaning. WHats more bullshit than the headline is your case against it.

"But it's no where as disingenuous as this "Come on, Legal Insurrection! How many people are writing over there under a brand I associate with Cornell lawpro William A. Jacobson? The misleading article is by someone identified by first name only: Aleister. What's going on?"

There is nothing misleading about the article. And if one doesn't understand what is actually happening from the article, they are a moron. No one is responsible for another being a moron. It's also disingenuous to look at a headline by one to an article by another...like they were one thing.

Then this gold:

"It's utterly dull and hardly worth mentioning that a group called The Student Coalition for Progress wants to stifle Young Americans for Freedom."

Yet: "I blogged it here"

So which is it?

The fact the story is three weeks old isn't pertinent. It's UW. It may be your center of the world. But LI may just have discovered and like you decided to blog it.

FInally: "I thought maybe something new had happened here at my school."

You don't go there. You never went there. You don't work there. You don't own it. Why make it seem like you do? As a matter of fact you have to dig ALL the way into the comments to hear that you USED to work there. Why do you want people to jump to conclusion?

See how fun that is?

Michael K said...

A headline that says something happened when it might happen in the future is still fake news.

I would be in agreement if we hadn't seen a tsunami of stupidity by universities going back to Duke, UVA and Columbia with "mattress girl."

The headline is correct. Maybe the implication is excessive but I have confidence that UW Madison is capable of such stupidity.

David Begley said...

Very harsh Curious George especially about Althouse and Wisconsin. Althouse represents Wisconsin as much as Bucky Badger. Both are goodwill ambassadors. When Rush Limbaugh referenced Althouse during his broadcast he said something like, "she's from Wisconsin."

Unknown said...

Incurious George disconnects Althouse from the university she taught at for what, 30 years? See how conservatives react when someone points out fake news they want desperatly to believe?

jaydub said...

When a state university offers a course to freshmen titled “The Problem of Whiteness” one should not be surprised when outsiders assume the same university is capable of labeling a group of primarily white students a "hate" group. In fact, the professor,a UW-M insider only expresses "doubt" that there's any chance that UW-M will respond positively to this petition, hence holding herself open to the possibility that it could. Blaming outsiders for also believing this to be a possibility is disingenuous. The surest way for a university to avoid misunderstandings of this type is to purge racialist propaganda like the aforementioned course from its circulum. The university's spokeman categorically rejecting racialist petitions that smear an authorized campus student group, rather than uttering mealy mouth statements like "the petition itself does not represent the university position on the group," might also help. Until that type of affirmative action occurs, UW-M should be prepared to live with it's reputation.

AprilApple said...

...a group called The Student Coalition for Progress wants to stifle Young Americans for Freedom.

Perhaps we should petition the UW to label The Student Coalition for Progress - A Nazi free-speech-stomping progressive neo-fascist hate group?

Punch back twice as hard.

Unknown said...

Michael K: Oh please, please, please, can't we just believe UW Madison would/ will do this? Don't point out the fact that UW Madison hasn't acted on the petition, let's all believe they would label the YAF as a hate group.We want to believe it!

Unknown said...

UW Madison never harassed Althouse despite writing this conservative blog for the last decade or more. Considering the readership, If UW were truly going to label anything a hate group, they would've done so the Althouse blog due to her commentariat.

Bob said...

This may depend on what the meaning of "is" is.

Will said...

I, for one, really appreciate Ann's calling out of BS…I love the way she dissects things in a lawyerly way, as if words really do matter..

I've been to Madison enough to see how this is an easy leap to make, but Ann is correct that it's important to see the truth amid all the "PC posturing versus faux outrage" that goes on in almost every college town these days.

As we all speed-read the headlines it's important to consider the underling facts. Keep up the great work Ann Althouse!

Curious George said...

"Unknown said...
Incurious George disconnects Althouse from the university she taught at for what, 30 years? See how conservatives react when someone points out fake news they want desperatly to believe?"

I didn't disconnect her. I said what factually is. And I simply used the same logic and reason as she did to LI.

"David Begley said...
Very harsh Curious George especially about Althouse and Wisconsin. Althouse represents Wisconsin as much as Bucky Badger. Both are goodwill ambassadors. When Rush Limbaugh referenced Althouse during his broadcast he said something like, "she's from Wisconsin."

My god this is painfully stupid.

By the way she is not from Wisconsin. She is from Wilmington, DE. Her school is not Wisconsin. Her school is the University of Michigan. And New York University School of Law. UW was her employer.

Why all these inaccurate statement?

Unknown said...

UW is her school. Teaching there for 30 years allows her to make the claim. Incurious George is not only incurious, he is stupid.

David Begley said...

George. You got her bio down correctly, but after 30 plus years at UW, she's from Wisconsin.

Stop being so nasty.

Michael K said...

The Inga/Unknown seems to come and go among other Unknowns but she is detectable by the stupidity. It would be helpful if they would label themselves but we can rely on a sample of the thought.

AllenS said...

Unknown said...
UW is her school.

Do you mean that she owns the school, now?

AllenS said...

Mr Begley, I've lived in WI since 1973, but I'm not from WI. I'm glad you don't write headlines.

ganderson said...

I played hockey 'at' the University of Minnesota...

David Begley said...

"RUSH: Ann Althouse. She’s from Wisconsin. She has a blog — she’s had it for a while — and she wrote a blurb last night, a post, about two political science professors who have recently discovered the term “low-information voter” and sought to define it."

Was Obama from Hawaii or Chicago? Or Kenya?

rehajm said...

Come on. Let's be smart,


You've correctly identified the 'muddy the waters' strategy of the DNC, The Center for American Progress and various other leftie groups: Make an assertion with creative prepositions, add the telephone game and just like that the election is illegitimate since it was hacked by the Russians!

Come on. Let's be smart.

AllenS said...

Sorry, Rush, but Althouse lives in WI, just like myself.

Curious George said...

"Will said...
I, for one, really appreciate Ann's calling out of BS…I love the way she dissects things in a lawyerly way, as if words really do matter.."

It's just the opposite. Her case is words don't matter. It doesn't matter that the headline says "at", people will think it means "by". Her only "proof" of that is one person did. One person. Wow.

The rest is just a bunch of cobbled together bullshit:

1) Despite the original source making it clear in the first five paragraphs that it was a student group petitioning to have the UW do something, she takes exception that the UW quote didn't come until par 17. This is intellectually dishonest, or stupid, or both.

2) She states the College Fix article is "misleading", but it's not. Read it. If you don't know from the first sentence exactly what is happening you are a moron.

3) My favorite of course is this: "It's utterly dull and hardly worth mentioning that a group called The Student Coalition for Progress wants to stifle Young Americans for Freedom."

Really Althouse? You didn't say that when "your school's" Badger Herald reported on it. You didn't say that when you wrote about. But some conservative college website reports on it and now it is.

Curious George said...

"David Begley said...
George. You got her bio down correctly, but after 30 plus years at UW, she's from Wisconsin.

Stop being so nasty."

Better yet, stop being so stupid. I really don't care that she says "my school"...as I said I simply used her logic.

rehajm said...

To wit, perhaps it is shocking when conservatives utilize a common liberal tactic.

holdfast said...

It's kinda misleading, but one will only remain misled if one is too lazy to read the actual story. It's certainly less misleading than many NYT or WaPo headlines.

tcrosse said...

OT: How does the alumni magazine always know where to find me ? I have moved several times to various parts of the US, and On Wisconsin always follows me, in spite of the fact that I have never given a nickel to WAA. Not only that, On Wisconsin followed my late father, UW 1936, everywhere he went as long as he lived. If Jimmy Hoffa had been a Badger, On Wisconsin would know where he was.

AllenS said...

tcrosse, ask Putin, he seems to be running things in this country now.

Phil 3:14 said...

"Come on. Let's be smart."

I'm afraid that ship has sailed in many colleges.

(PS That's a metaphor. There aren't really ships sailing from institutions of higher education.)

Otto said...

All of sudden the cool girl is out of sorts. Misleading headlines is nothing new or worthy of "smart" people getting hot over them. It is because AA is in a new phase of her life, I know having been a retiree for many years. Casting negatives against an institution that she has worked for 30+ years are perceived by her as degrading her career and making all those years of hard work ( and life) meaningless.So that's why we see this out of character strong defense of UW. Take up golf.

tcrosse said...

(PS That's a metaphor. There aren't really ships sailing from institutions of higher education.)

Except Annapolis.

Meade said...

Curious George said...
"2) She states the College Fix article is "misleading"

Wrong.

JAORE said...

I had the same reaction. Read the article. Said, "WTF" to myself. Reread the headline and said, "Oh" to myself.

Still misleading and click bait.

How about a counter petition saying the Students for Progress (or whatever title they use) is a "hate group"? Might be interesting to see how the two are handled inside the UW belly of the beast.

I strongly suspect a larger percent of conservative students have real cause to feel hated than that of progressive students.

Curious George said...

"Meade said...
Curious George said...
"2) She states the College Fix article is "misleading"

Wrong."

Althouse: "The misleading article is by someone identified by first name only: Aleister. What's going on?

The "article" written by Aleister is simply a direct quote of the College Fix article.

Wanna try again Meade?

Meade said...

"The 'article' written by Aleister is simply a direct quote of the College Fix article."

Wrong again.

Curious George said...

Meade said...
"The 'article' written by Aleister is simply a direct quote of the College Fix article."

Wrong again."

Powerful rebuttal. Perhaps you can say why?

Meade said...

Yes, most of Aleister's article is a direct quote from the College Fix article by Kate Hardiman. But to say "simply" a direct quote is wrong and misleading. For instance, Aleister's "direct quote" leaves out "The petition gained more than 200 supporters after its Dec. 15 release, however has since been shut down after failing to meet a required number of signatures, according to YAF spokesperson Emily Jashinsky."

Aleister's "direct quote" also starts off, not so "simply" with: This would be the same UW Madison which is currently offering a program about the problem of whiteness.

Curious George said...

Meade said...
Yes, most of Aleister's article is a direct quote from the College Fix article by Kate Hardiman."

No, Meade, ALL of alleister's article is a direct quote. Not most. All. Every word.

And Aleister didn't write an article. It was simply a blog post. And while it word to word quote from the beginning of the College Fix article, he/she also linked the entire artice.

SO you wanna try again? Because so far it's weaksauce.


Meade said...

"No, Meade, ALL of alleister's article is a direct quote. Not most. All. Every word."

This time you left out the word "simply." Why?

Curious George said...

Meade: "Aleister's "direct quote" also starts off, not so "simply" with: This would be the same UW Madison which is currently offering a program about the problem of whiteness"

There is nothing in that sentence that is pertinent to the headline. Lame.

Meade said...

Perhaps. But it is entirely pertinent to your use of the word "simply" to — what, mislead?

Curious George said...

"Meade said...
"No, Meade, ALL of alleister's article is a direct quote. Not most. All. Every word."

This time you left out the word "simply." Why?"

I would ask why you ignored my rebuttal with this lame crap, but we know why. Because you are wrong. The allesiter blog post is the college fix article. The sole difference is the first sentence. WHich is not pertinent to the headline. And was not even mentioned by Althouse.

Meade said...

"The allesiter blog post is the college fix article. The sole difference is the first sentence."

The sky IS the color blue. The sole difference is a single cloud.

Rebut.

Michael said...

The only possible way to counter this kind of bullshit is to "punch back twice as hard." Defamation? Harassment? The court system, the college crybaby court. All. Oh, and individually sue those smug little bitches with their fucking signs. Wrongful suits? Tough shit. Show up bitch even if it is during your women's study exam. You want Nazi you get Nazi.

Curious George said...

"Meade said...
"The allesiter blog post is the college fix article. The sole difference is the first sentence."

The sky IS the color blue. The sole difference is a single cloud.

Rebut."


So you are making the case that Althouse wasn't talking about the College Fix article but the Alleister "article" because of the one additional sentence. Which she didn't even mention. Really?

Are you comfortable with this intellectual dishonesty?

Mark said...

Don't point out the fact that UW Madison hasn't acted on the petition, let's all believe they would label the YAF as a hate group

In other words, the University is undeniably leaving the stench of the accusation out there, refusing to validate or vindicate YAF, with the possibility of officially labeling them a hate group still under consideration.

The very fact that it is still a possibility is damning of the University.

Curious George said...

You Althouse wants to make the argument that the headline is misleading, that's fine. I would disagree, but I could see her point.

But that's not what this post is about at all.

She makes the case that they were INTENTIONALLY trying to mislead. And her case is unfounded, misleading, and bullshit.

Birkel said...

Yesterday, I wrote this:

"Meanwhile, all that talk of inclusiveness and so forth is bull shit.

http://legalinsurrection.com/2017/01/young-americans-for-freedom-labeled-hate-group-at-uw-madison/#comments

Apparently they are guilty of WrongThink. The university system is devouring itself.
"

Somehow I was not misled and managed to discern the net result. Universities are snakes eating their own tails. They have taught or allowed identity politics to grow, barely constrained, and it is consuming intellectual rigor far too often.

The business model cannot hold.

Mark said...

"I do want to clarify that the petition itself does not represent the university position on the group or constitute a formal complaint against YAF."

That's a non-denial denial.

Original Mike said...

"It's utterly dull and hardly worth mentioning that a group called The Student Coalition for Progress wants to stifle Young Americans for Freedom."

I think it's more significant than that. The fact that it's common doesn't make it any less dismaying. And the fact that it happens at my school is personally embarrassing.

Mark said...

Now if you want disinformation, did you hear about Dean Reynold's report on CBS radio about the Chicago torture incident? About how he reported the perpetrators calling the victim the "n-word" and repeatedly referencing Donald Trump? All without bothering to mention the races of the persons involved.

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, @Meade the University of Wisconsin had several possible responses to the petition. Dr. Blank could have released a statement to the effect that the Student Coalition for Progress has no official status on campus and that the petition would not be accepted. Or they could have publicly defended the YAF (as if!!!). Or they could even have gotten more weaselly than usual and issued a statement to the effect that UW-Mad was not in the business of labeling sponsored student organizations.

Instead, your university chooses to let the petition hang over the heads of the YAF as a pretty naked attempt to intimidate them.

The University of Wisconsin of 2017 is not the University of Wisconsin from thirty years ago., is it?

Curious George said...

"Mark said...
Now if you want disinformation, did you hear about Dean Reynold's report on CBS radio about the Chicago torture incident? About how he reported the perpetrators calling the victim the "n-word" and repeatedly referencing Donald Trump? All without bothering to mention the races of the persons involved."

Are you being facetious? Because they did.

rcocean said...

The MSM has been using these kind of misleading headlines about Trump for almost 1.5 years.

Big Mike said...

Damn! Turns out the University of Wisconsin did do my option #1. My apologies to both of you at Meadhouse. I'm going to punish myself by doing the breakfast dishes.

(Of course I generally do breakfast dishes every day since I retired.)

LYNNDH said...

"Allowing a professor to teach a race studies course that examines what he chooses to call the problem of BLACKNESS demonstrates UW's commitment to academic freedom" - there fixed that. Oh wait, what would be the response to such a "race studies course" on this campus that is dedicated to academic freedom.

Purpleslog said...

Re " The left used to be very enthusiastic about free speech"...I was at UW-Madison in the mid and late 1980's. The left was already then anti-free speech and calling anybody they disagreed with a racist. Now a generation later, those are habits and practices are just more widespread.

Ann Althouse said...

"So you are making the case that Althouse wasn't talking about the College Fix article but the Alleister "article" because of the one additional sentence. Which she didn't even mention. Really?"

I read what I read because it was on Legal Insurrection. I cared in part because Legal Insurrection is written by a Cornell law professor who I believe cares about the website he created. College Fix isn't really on my radar normally. Legal Insurrection chose to raise the profile of something and brought it into my view. I agree that what Aleister wrote isn't much of an article and is heavily reliant on cutting and pasting. That doesn't cut off responsibility, indeed, there is additional responsibility for what is not included, which makes the University's role utterly clear.

"She makes the case that they were INTENTIONALLY trying to mislead. And her case is unfounded, misleading, and bullshit."

No, I did not. That's why I said the headline is embarrassingly misleading, rather than naming a person and calling that person misleading. I don't know if the person was jumping to a conclusion or purely careless. Speaking of carelessness, I don't know if you realize how much care I take, every day, only to say what I know and to notice, continually, what I do not know.

Curious George said...

Ann Althouse said...
"So you are making the case that Althouse wasn't talking about the College Fix article but the Alleister "article" because of the one additional sentence. Which she didn't even mention. Really?"

I read what I read because it was on Legal Insurrection. I cared in part because Legal Insurrection is written by a Cornell law professor who I believe cares about the website he created. College Fix isn't really on my radar normally. Legal Insurrection chose to raise the profile of something and brought it into my view. I agree that what Aleister wrote isn't much of an article and is heavily reliant on cutting and pasting. That doesn't cut off responsibility, indeed, there is additional responsibility for what is not included, which makes the University's role utterly clear."

They posted a link to the College Fix. You often quote part of an article and the link for totallity. And it's not an article...it's a blog post.

"She makes the case that they were INTENTIONALLY trying to mislead. And her case is unfounded, misleading, and bullshit."

No, I did not.

Bullshit Althouse, you wrote this "Yes, you've covered your ass with that "at" (instead of "by")"

That implies intent. No two ways about it.

So wanna try again?

J Melcher said...

As long as we're discussing the minute details of headlines:

How did it come to pass that headline writers at CNN and CBS and ABC and the NY Times and the Washington Post and other major media outlets all converged on one single three-letter verb to describe the re-organization and curtailment of authority vested in the "Office of Congressional Ethics"?

Did any headlines on this sequence of events use any OTHER verb besides "gut" ?

Did the author of the proposal, Bob Goodlatte, use that term for his ideas, along with others including "strengthening" due process protections for those investigated, "stripping" the body of independence, and "protecting" against disclosures of yet-to-be investigated accusations? Was Rep Goodlatte the first to characterize his own bill as "gutting" the targeted office?



tcrosse said...

Re " The left used to be very enthusiastic about free speech".
I was at UW Madison in the mid-1960's when there was a kerfluffle about Eric Hoffer's The True Believer being on some course's reading list. It got people into the street. In the early 70's it was The Bell Curve. Plus ça change....

Fabi said...

I was afraid this post would garner a bunch of pedantic comments -- glad that didn't happen!

GRW3 said...

I didn't like that either. I hate that kind of thing left or right. It should have said something like: "Snowflakes want YAF banned at UW-Madison because they are a hate group."

Otto said...

@Fabi I am sure you are including pedantic comments by AA and her husband.

exiledonmainstreet said...

" The left used to be very enthusiastic about free speech".

Were they really? What the Free Speech Movement and people like Lenny Bruce (who would be persecuted by the Left today) wanted was to break down the social and sexual constraints of the 1950's. Once that was done, they set about imposing their own constraints in the form of political correctness.

The Left was and is very enthusiastic about its own right to free speech. It has never shown much tolerance for other viewpoints.

Althouse sometimes sounds like she believes the Left accidentally and tragically went astray somehow. Undermining traditional moral codes, especially those based on Christianity, and replacing them with their own, has always been the goal. They play the long game.

Yancey Ward said...

I would argue this isn't carelessness, it is intentionally designed to be misleading.

Ms. Althouse, what would it take for the UW-Madison to act positively on the petition? What kind of speech would bring YAF under university sanction?

Birkel said...

exiledonmainstreet:

The Left thought of Free Speech like Leftist collectivists think of democracy. When they reached their stop, they got off.

Erdogan and all totalitarians understand that.

Jupiter said...

"Allowing a professor to teach a race studies course that examines what he chooses to call the problem of whiteness demonstrates UW's commitment to academic freedom."

Yes, and paying for it demonstrates white people's financial commitment to their own destruction.

Unknown said...

Curious George, stop digging. You're making a fool of yourself. Your arguments are now made only to cover your ass because your original argument was so poorly thought out.

Birkel said...

Unknown:

I am curious. Do you believe the Leftist group feels empowered to use the administration to silence the conservative group? Do you believe there are systemic reasons they feel silencing another group is reasonable?

Do you believe the university system, therefore, has exposed itself to criticism? Have the policies of identity politics created a disequilibrium that will reduce the sphere and influence of the university? And if not, do you believe others - even some in positions of authority who will be making decisions that directly affect the institution itself - will feel differently?

The assumption of the Left that the universe is static cannot hold.

The Cracker Emcee said...

"UW lost by not laughing them off the radar."

Exactly. Institutional neutrality is not a passive exercise. An institution maintains it by telling partisans of all stripes to fuck off almost constantly. The Leftists running the universities don't want to do that (indeed, can not even recognize their own partisanship) and so it's hardly surprising that they're treated with suspicion and scorn by those of a more libertarian bent.

Birkel said...

Further, to add to my recent post, most of the people who comment here are highly educated (degrees and otherwise) and regret watching Leftists destroy the institutions that we respected not so long ago. We do not come in anger, but in sadness. We have watching the DOJ and IRS and university employees betray their institutions for naked political power.

And even the Will to Power has failed.

Curious George said...

"Unknown said...
Curious George, stop digging. You're making a fool of yourself. Your arguments are now made only to cover your ass because your original argument was so poorly thought out."

Maybe you rebut my arguments. I say that as a courtesy. You can't. You won't.

Alex said...

You think UW Madison won't declare them a 'hate group' within a few days? You are mightily optimistic. Notice the tactic of punishment for 'wrongthink' - intensive diversity training. It's straight out of Orwell.

Curious George said...

"Ann Althouse said...
Speaking of carelessness, I don't know if you realize how much care I take, every day, only to say what I know and to notice, continually, what I do not know."

Not here. You more than once state opinion as a fact. Like here:

"but few readers will resist jumping to the conclusion that the University took some action against the conservative group."

You have no way of knowing this. It's simply your opinion.

And this:

AND: There's some debate in the comments here about how much Aleister simply passed on bad text written by College Fix and how much he contributed. In the course of that debate, Meade points out that Aleister begins with his own words: "This would be the same UW Madison which is currently offering a program about the problem of whiteness."

That's not what the debate was about at all. It was about whether you had said that the College Fix article was "misleading." Meade said you didn't. I said you did, simply because the Aleister post was a quoting of the College Mix...other than once sentence above. But you didn't even mention that sentence. So please don't try to obfuscate the issue.

Achilles said...

Ann Althouse said...

No, I did not. That's why I said the headline is embarrassingly misleading, rather than naming a person and calling that person misleading. I don't know if the person was jumping to a conclusion or purely careless. Speaking of carelessness, I don't know if you realize how much care I take, every day, only to say what I know and to notice, continually, what I do not know.

The university teaches students something. The students take their knowledge and start a student group. The vast majority of these student groups act like little fascist cabals and are overwhelmingly from one side of the political spectrum. Furthermore the University only sanctions student groups from one side of the political spectrum. It only cancels speakers from one side of the political spectrum. They allow these accusations to hang around and occasionally they cancel events or speakers that are in the persecuted group.

Come on. Let's be smart.

The university has acted on these petitions before. They have canceled speakers. They have disbanded groups. They are in 100% support of what these students in this group are saying. These groups receive university funding and the university pulls that funding, but only from groups on one side of the political spectrum.

You want to notice what you "do not know?" or are you just going to mouth empty pablums like an intellectual coward?

Achilles said...

Meade said...
"The allesiter blog post is the college fix article. The sole difference is the first sentence."

The sky IS the color blue. The sole difference is a single cloud.

Rebut.


Wow. Ann and Meade are not covering themselves in glory on this thread.

This is pure weapons grade stupid coming from people that are usually smart.

Unknown said...

Althouse commentariat: We want to believe it's true! Whaaaaa! Don't burst our bubble!

Curious George said...

Unknown said...
Althouse commentariat: We want to believe it's true! Whaaaaa! Don't burst our bubble!"


Like I said, you can't. You won't.

ken in tx said...

I read previously, don't remember where, that The Student Coalition for Progress is not an officially recognized student group. It is an Ad Hoc group created just for this petition. And that is why this is not considered an official complaint against YAF. YAF is an officially recognized student group. BTW, I was a member of YAF in the 60s--as a high school and college student in Alabama.

BJM said...

:Would Kim Du Toit like to speak that nastily to the estimable Roger Kimball? "

Apparently Althouse is unfamiliar with du Toit's proclivity to let wankers have it with both barrels*.

*A figure of speech, Kimball is certainly not a wanker, but he's not infallible either.

Yancey Ward said...

To have been accurate and not misleading, the headline would have identified who was writing the label. I think Ms. Althouse is correct that most readers will read the headline and think YAF was officially sanctioned by the university.

However, I do have to take issue with two things Ms. Althouse wrote, or maybe I need a clarification of her thinking:

"Aleister says that as if the UW were favoring the left over the right. But there is no inconsistency. Allowing a professor to teach a race studies course that examines what he chooses to call the problem of whiteness demonstrates UW's commitment to academic freedom.

Is it really consistency? I guess I would have to ask you, Ann, what would happen if a UW professor tried to teach a course about the problem of blackness in a similar manner? Would you expect the university to really allow such a course to be taught?

And, lastly, the university's statement is kind of pathetic- it rests heavily on denying the petition because it wasn't a formal complaint and appaarently didn't garner the proper number of signatures. Again, I ask you- what would have succeeded in getting UW to officially sanction YAF. I am asking for your opinion as a long time professor of the university.

Curious George said...

Achilles said...

Wow. Ann and Meade are not covering themselves in glory on this thread.

This is pure weapons grade stupid coming from people that are usually smart


Yeah, it's weird. The opinion that the headline is misleading is arguable. I can see how one might think that. I'm not sure I would agree but I can see why one might think that. But she didn't leave it there. The case Althouse tried to make is off the rails, and Meade support is numbingly dumb.

She says she didn't say that she said they intentionally were misleading, but you can't say they added the word "at" replacing "by" in the headline to "cover their ass" unless there was intent on their part to mislead.

There is no way the LI (or the College Fix article because they were one in the same) was misleading, because you would have to think that The Student Coalition for Progress at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is the UW itself (it clearly is not) and that a petition is a sanction, which it clearly is not. To think it is you really have to be mindless. Or ignore the meaning of words. And this was in the first sentence of the article quoted. The first sentence. LI also added a link to the entire College Fix article...something she does a regular basis (quote part, link total).

She criticizes that "It's utterly dull and hardly worth mentioning that a group called The Student Coalition for Progress wants to stifle Young Americans for Freedom." Yet she did the exact same thing a few weeks ago. So what's the point.

She says "Nothing new has happened" as a critique...so what! It was reported by The Badger Herald, a college news source...hardly the NYT. Some conservative college website picked it up, then LI saw it and blogged it for discussion...LIKE she did.

Then Meade points to the one sentence that LI added "This would be the same UW Madison which is currently offering a program about the problem of whiteness." Yeah, that's a cheap slam at the UW, but that was ignored by her is her post, so please don't bring it up later to prove some point not made. Weaksauce by Meade, as was the crap you posted. Lame. But then Althouse misrepresents why it came into play.

Althouse, before you start questioning LI on their standards, maybe look in the mirror. Not your best moment.

gadfly said...

In conclusion, the whole folderol is about perception. Over at LI, reader comments don't like the sourcing of College Fix (or any other outside source) without forewarning that a reprint is being presented.

Fuzzy Slippers blames the change on the consolidation of Legal Insurrection with failed offshoot College Insurrection. She admits those who use aggregator services to see articles from many sources cannot see who wrote the article. CI used lots of student-provided stuff from anyone who could bring in the college crowd, but no one read CI but LI loyalists.

If I want to read current newsy stuff, I check Memeorandum where I find that Priebus says there is no reason to do background checks on Trump cabinet picks. Oooookay!

Jim at said...

"Don't point out the fact that UW Madison hasn't acted on the petition, let's all believe they would label the YAF as a hate group."

They haven't. Yet.

When they do? Will you finally shut up?

Michael McClain said...

Has that professor offered a course on the "problem of blackness"? How about the "problem of brownness"? Seems like a prejudiced approach to academics.

Michael K said...

I check Memeorandum where I find that Priebus says there is no reason to do background checks on Trump cabinet picks. Oooookay!

I assume you would like to see them spend a year or two on "background checks" on officers of stockholder owned public corporations that have been in the public eye for decades.

Somebody like Obama appointee, Vann Jones or academic Jonathan Gruber have little public awareness of their views.

The CEO of Exxon has had microscopes directed by hostile lobbies on his actions for years.

Unknown said...

Hahahahaha, incurious George, it'll take you months to live this down. You beclowned yourself.

Jon Ericson said...

This is great stuff!
All your faculty buddies will read Althouse today.
Badger Island!
Or is it Badger lake?

I blame 26 year old Amanda!

Jon Ericson said...

Are you a meth troll or a cake troll?
I'm guessing cake.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Blogger Unknown said...
Hahahahaha, incurious George, it'll take you months to live this down. You beclowned yourself."

Since you have written nothing which rebuts him, I'd say, no, he has not.

At any rate, you're hardly one to mock anybody else for beclowning themselves. You make a fool of yourself every time you post here, especially since the election (Jill Stein will save us!!!!).

I'm sure it's a comfort to feel as if the tables have been turned on someone else - but no. Curious George would have to get a lobotomy to sound as dumb as you.

Unknown said...

Mr. Main Street,
One should have to have at least a half of a brain to get a lobotomy. Are you the other half of poor unfortunate Incurious George's brain? You sound as ignorant as he is. I've never mentioned Jill Stein's name in all the years I've been reading and occasionally commenting here. There are several Unknowns.

damikesc said...

It's a terrible headline and it is quite misleading. Don't confuse a school making an idiotic choice with the usual petty political bitching and moaning that is student activism.

n.n said...

The liberal moral standard is that The University of Wisconsin must explicitly and immediately repudiate intolerant progressives if only to clarify the tenuous or perceived association between the sanctimonious hypocrites and the University.

The Left has really stepped in it this time. And with JournoLists of the Fourth Estate retreating in shame following Deep Plunger's expose of Water Closet and the Nigerian Phishing expedition confirming the [class] diversity and Pro-Choice character of the DNC, they no longer have cover from mainstream Democratic propaganda outlets. In fact, with resurgence of left-wing anti-nativism globally, and People and their Posterity standing their ground, they may no longer be a viable party.

exiledonmainstreet said...

There are several Unknowns.

1/8/17, 7:53 PM

I know. You are the dumb one.

Danno said...

Wow! Just wow! There are some commenters with way too much time to post rebuttals to Ann's post on this topic. It is almost worse than watching some commenters argue with/feed trolls on arcane points. You will never convince the other side to agree. I guess some people always have to be right, or get the last word in.

Jon Ericson said...

Book 'em Danno...

Jon Ericson said...

Some People!

OLDFART said...

But seriously though can you blame people for believing that the ultra progressive bunch of liberals running UW-Madison would do such a thing?